1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Nwenna Kai, Adjunct Professor, Author, Food Activist, Award-winning wellness entrepreneur, 37. I used to own an organic raw vegan restaurant and catering company in Los Angeles. Now I am an author, wellness entrepreneur, and professor in Philadelphia, PA where I was born and raised. .
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My parents inspired me as a child to eat healthy and to stay fit. And also my grandmother was an urban gardener. She ate the food that she grew. Her garden was right across the street from her house in West Philadelphia, a very urban, lower class neighborhood. She grew cabbage, collard greens, and I think sweet potates. Those were her staples.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
My father always made sure there was fresh fruit around our house for us to easily grab. My mother never fried food and she always made sure we had a green vegetable on our plate for each meal we had. She cooked fresh food everyday and always used fresh vegetables. When I went away to college and I used to see other students with more than one starch on their plate, I would gasp because I grew up thinking that if you didn’t have a green vegetable on your plate for a meal, that your meal was not complete. We also were not allowed to drink soda and I had a Coke for the first time when I went to France my junior year of college and I broke out in hives.
My grandmother taught me that you don’t need much in life as long as you have access to fresh food. She loved her garden and she wanted us to love her garden too. At the time, we didn’t enjoy gardening, but now being older, I see how important it is to learn how to grow food.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Well it changed my life because now I teach people how to eat healthier and live healthier lives. Even before that, I stuck to my healthy eating habits when I moved out of the house as an adult. When I got sick in my early 20’s, I turned to food to heal myself and it worked, so my parent’s lessons in healthier eating definitely changed my life.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
My niece is vegetarian and I’m sure I had some influence over that. I do not have children yet, but of course they will be raised as raw vegan children. It just makes sense. They come out of the womb that way.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Children have to be taught at an early age how to eat healthier and how important it is to eat healthier. Children aren’t born eating junk. And they are actually brainwashed to like junk food. Its not part of their natural makeup. My main message to children is to eat your greens!!!
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?